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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  August 23, 2009 10:00am-10:59am EDT

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nutrisystem d changed my life. mike is one of many who have lost weight and controlled their diabetes with new nutrisystem d. backed by 35 years of research and low glycemic index science nutrisystem d works. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back! new! nutrisystem d. lose weight. live better. call or click today. right now on msnbc sunday, hurricane bill, weaker but still dangerous. the winds, the waves and rip currents now hitting the northeast coast. we've got a live report coming up. that storm delays the president's vacation plans for a fau hours but the health care storm is following him into the new week and likely to martha's vineyard. cash for clunkers ends tomorrow. was it that popular with most americans? there's this -- a duel in
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the pool. basketball giant shaquille o'neal takes on olympic giant michael phelps at his own game. good morning to you, i'm alex witt. welcome to msnbc sunday. 10:00 a.m. precisely here on the east coast. 7:00 a.m. out west. a check on the state of the economy for you. but first, new developments this hour on hurricane bill. forecasters have downgraded the storm to a category 1 hurricane. it is moving up and down the eastern seaboard. storm is still packing high winds as it churns up rough seas creating dangerous rip currents. in florida, one surfer drowned after being swept out to sea by strong rip currents. hurricane swept past bermuda last night with 105-mile-an-hour winds. the storm scattered coral, also scattering palm tree debris causing flooding and power outages on that island. at this hour the storm continues moving north. hurricane watches around thunderstorm warnings remain in effect for parts of canada. bill is not expected to directly hit the united states mainland. the weather channel's julie
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martin is live in cape cod, massachusetts for us. julie, we just said that it doesn't expect to hit the u.s. mainland but we can still see the effects of bill. look right behind you, right? the surf's picking up. >> reporter: absolutely, alex. hurricane bill still providing a good show for visitors here along cape cod over the weekend. the peach here just opened minutes ago. look at all of the spectators out there just taking in the wave action. there is a high surf advisory in effect here. waves expected to reach the 10 to 15-foot level this morning before high tide about 1:20 this afternoon. then they'll diminish rapidly throughout afternoon dropping back into the four to five-foot range. right now is the time to get out and take pictures. unfortunately, no swimming right now. for very good reason. rip current warnings in effect all up and down the eastern seaboard. you mentioned the surfer who drowned in new smyrna beach, florida yesterday, five people
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in daytona beach were actually rescued after being caught up in rip currents. this area around cape cod notorious for rip currents. right now people are being required to stay out of the water and just take in the sight from the beach. >> are you seeing that? are people doing that? i know earlier you thought you saw surfers out there. are people heeding the warnings? >> reporter: i just saw two guys go by with their surfboards. they were trying to get in the water and they were marched right back out. it didn't work this time. >> that's good for them. better safe than sorry. julie martin, thank you very much for that. you can all keep it right here for complete coverage of hurricane bill. we'll have more on where the storm is headed in a few minutes. let's go to politics now. new this morning, in an appearance on "meet the press," senator charles schumer tells david gregory the democrats may go it alone on health care and pass a bill without republican support.
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>> the bottom line is we prefer a bipartisan approach and that's why both senator reid, our majority leader, and president obama bent over backwards. but at some point soon after we get back, if we don't have a bipartisan bill, we'll never be able to meet the goal of having a bill signed into law by the end of the year. so, yes, we are considering alternatives. >> joined live from washington, d.c. by nbc's mike viqueira inside the white house. good morning. let's go through the alternatives that senator schumer's referring to. where do you start? >> reporter: he's referring to a process that democrats instituted early in this year, specifically as it pertains to health care reform. i'll say this once -- it's very washington processing called reconciliation. that means portions of this could waive the 60-vote rule. normally to pass anything in the senate you have to have 60 of 100 senators. you could do it under this process with 50 votes. people think you can't use this
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process for health care reform. that's number one. there will have to be a ruling on that. number two is that we've seen anger at these town hall meetings because people feel as though the democrats are rushing this through and trying to jam it down people's throats. if they go through this, this anger at town halls, i doubt they'll even be able to have town halls after that frankly, alex. but this is something that people on left really want. they say, look, we've given democrats all the power they've been asking for all these years. there are 60 democratic votes in the senate. there is a substantial majority in the house. let us exercise that power and get this done. if it's ramming it down people's throats, then so be it. there's some tension now and it's all going to be worked out in the next couple of weeks. alex. >> oh, you think? right? >> reporter: well, one way or the other. >> like ooh, okay. thank you very much. a new ad launched this week,
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hoping the president will be forced to watch since the ad will air in the massachusetts area when the red sox take on the president's beloved white sox. >> the beach is nice this time year. but while president obama vacations, concerns mount about his health care plan. mr. president, when you go back to d.c., drop your government-run public option plan. let's get on with the -- >> i'm joined by lisa laher, a reporter for politico. this ad seems to be speaking directly to the president. this is the second week that the president's devoted to knocking down rumors about health care reform. he spent time playing defense which means less time for winning support and going on the offense here. what does this tell you about how well the white house is managing its message? >> the white house certainly knows that they need to take a stronger hand with controlling the health care debate. they're sort of getting stuck
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between two sides. there is a tug-of-war going on even amongst democrats right now. you have some folks pushing for the public option and pushing really hard for that, seeing this is a major piece much the bill that can't be compromised. then other folks saying we have to get through what democrats can get there. that might involve dropping the public option. the white house is in a tough spot right now and it is unlikely the president will be able to take off a whole week for vacation. that's what the ad is trying to point out. i think that's likely to be true. >> we know the president will be busy as soon as he gets back from it. "new york times" reports the president might speak before congress, even give a live televised address from the oval office on health care next week. do you think a nationwide address will help the president regain control of the debate? >> help put pressure on congress. i think that address will be speaking to moderate democrats. there have been reports the white house has given up on passing a bipartisan bill at all. they may pick up a few
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republican votes from the women senators in maine, handful of republicans. but in terms of getting a lot of republicans on board with that plan, looks pretty likely. >> going back to what you were just saying, i know that you reported on politico that house majority leader steny hoyer says the public option may have to be scrapped in order to get a bill passed. as you noted, this statement came just a day after house speaker nancy pelosi said the public option is a must for her. what is it that poses the greater threat to o health reform? is it opposition or is it democratic in-fighting? >> that's an excellent question and one we've still seen develop. those illustrate the problem within the democratic party that the white house faces right now. it is not just about republican opposition and vocal opposition at these town halls, it is also about getting members of their own party on-board. that could be the tougher fight. >> lisa, as always, thanks so
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much. across greece today dozens of wildfires continue to burn and one of the largest fires is near athens. that one is 25 miles wide and it continues to destroy homes as it nears the northern suburbs of the greek capital. that fire forces thousands to flee their homes in the middle of the night saturday. heavy winds are expected to fuel that three-day-old fire today. let's go to the economy now. key indicators released this week will give economisted a better idea whether or not the recession is over. investors will be paying close attention to new home sales as well as consumer sentiment numbers to see if the economy's recovery is on track and whether the stock market may extend its rally. joining me live from washington, d.c., a financial reporter with the "washington post," rene, good morning. i'm glad you're here. when you look ahead to this week what are the all-important numbers for you'll look to gauge the economic health? >> first we'll have new home sales in the middle of the week. we had some good numbers on home sales in the existing market last week so we'll see if that
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extended into the new home market. that could really give us a good idea of where the housing market recovery stands right now. >> that's a big one. if you look at home sales, they were at what? 7.2% in july? do you think it is going to go on track and continue picking upwards? do you think it is going to settle what? what's your best guesstimate? >> for new home sales? new home sales i expect to see it continue to increase. what we saw in the existing home sales figures and what we'll probably see in the new home sales figures is that home buyers are taking advantage of one cheap price. those home values have really plummeted since the start of the housing downturn to interest rates really remain pretty low. then there is also this $8,000 tax credit out there for new home buyers. i think we'll see the continuing impact of those factors on the sales market. the question is not with a we see next week but whether those sectors continue to show themselves throughout the rest
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of the year. >> we'll get another gauge of where things stand when we have the latest revised gdp numbers from the second quarter. they're released on thursday. no one expects it to change to a positive number but when the third quarter figures are released, might that be positive? >> there are a lot of economists out there thinking that might be it, that we'll see a positive gdp in the third quarter and be able to declare officially that the recession is over. at least that's the hope. going back to what we were talking about with new and existing home sales, all of those things feed into economists' optimism that in fact the worst at least of the recession is behind us and perhaps the recession is in fact over. >> how about consumer sentiment numbers? in july it was substantially below expectations. what do you expect this month? >> i'm going to hold off on making any predictions on that. consumer sentiment has been really hard to gauge. it's gotten worse, like you said, last month and that has some people on edge. because if consumers don't come
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back into the market, then that kind of throws a wet blanket on any hopes of a quick recovery at least or any recovery at all. if consumers stay home and don't buy, that really puts a hamper on a lot of things. >> you're right, if consumers don't come back recovery is not going to be quick. rene, thanks so much. the cash for clunkers deadline. why some say it is too soon to tell if the program was a success. later the duel in the pool. what's up with michael phelps and shaquille o'neal? we'll explain later on msnbc sunday.
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right now, a live look at cape cod in massachusetts where there is evidence that hurricane bill has weakened somewhat
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overnight. that storm is now a category 1 hurricane. let's go here in studio to nbc meteorologist bill karins tracking the storm for us. where is this storm headed now. >> it is almost in nova scotia. this storm has already traveled 100 miles since our show began just about 2 1/2 hours ago. this storm is a big storm still. still a hurricane. the 11:00 update east coast time from the hurricane center will be out here in shortly. maybe it dropped down to a tropical storm at that time or a very low-end category 1 hurricane. you can see the wind field, the orange is the tropical storm-force winds, the little red around the number one symbol is only where the hurricane-force winds are. those do not look at this point like they'll move into nova scotia. they should just brush the coastline. that's good news for them. we won't see a lot of wind damage even up in the canadian maritime. rain has ended for the most part in cape cod and down east maine after heavy rain this morning from hurricane bill. not much in the way of heavy rain out there now, just in
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extreme down east maine, maybe around lubbock. as far as the waves go, this is what's impressive with this storm. the people on the beach are looking at the huge surf crashing. we just had a report of a 40-foot wave just to the east of the center south of know shah scotia. we were lucky. if this storm was closer we'd have these huge waves crashing onshore here in new england. thankfully we're just getting the outer frings of the storms. still dangerous to swim. a lot of people on the beach. it is an incredible sight. in boston they are saying cape cod's got the biggest waves since 1991 with hurricane bob. >> lifeguards had to battle these folks back. >> it was nice last week. people weren't too afraid of the storm. forecast was accurate most of the way through so a lot of people got their vacations in. >> i hope you just sat on the beach and enjoyed. >> yes. >> okay.
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excellent. thank you very much. more work though next hour. for the latest on hurricane bill and where the storm is headed, logon to today marks the start of the first family's first vacation since moving into the white house. the obamas will travel to martha vineyard in massachusetts this afternoon for what will be a ten-day vacation on the small resort and very charming island. nbc's ron allen is live in martha's vineyard. ron, good morning. i understand it is a private vacation for the obama family. correct? >> reporter: that's what they're saying. we'll see how it goes. they're staying out on a farm that's some 28 acres. they have everything they need out there. it is in a very seclude part of the island. if they want to be, they don't have been to be seen by anybody while they are here. only public events on the schedule are the arrival at 3:00 eastern this afternoon -- the arrival on the island is private as well. there is an arrival before that on cape cod where they'll stop off. there is a lot of speculation
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what the obamas will do while here. there is speculation senator obama might drop in on senator kennedy. the big issue on the agenda domestically in the country now, health care. golf with tiger woods, visits by oprah winfrey. you name it and of course the island's 15,000 year-round residents, 15,000 summer residents and thousands of people here every day are proud and excited the president's going to be here. everybody will be trying to catch a glimpse, including us. >> which means clogged roads. it won't and problem for the president because they can get in those secret service mobiles and cruise anywhere they want. any grumblings despite the excitement having them here? >> year-round residents, 15,000 people, always deal with summer traffic. there are a lot of people here this week. but the other side of the coin is it's been a somewhat down
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year as every other resort across the country because of the economy. martha's vineyard can use the attention, just like other places can. but it is only a week. the first family's staying in a remote part of the island, secluded part of the island. they may never come to the town centers which is really where you have the traffic congestion and problems that happened here when the clintons were here during the 1990s. >> remember it well. ron allen, thank you very much for the update. still to come, is she a woman or a man? it is the toughest test yet for a new track champion and why that question is not so easy to answer. [ dog ] i am beautiful... on the inside. my inner-workings a work of art. a digestive tract that should be bronzed.
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nutrisystem d changed my life. mike is one of many who have lost weight and controlled their diabetes with new nutrisystem d. backed by 35 years of research and low glycemic index science nutrisystem d works. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back! new! nutrisystem d. lose weight. live better. call or click today. growing backlash this morning over testing done to determine the gender of a frin teenager who won the women's 800 meter world tight until berlin last week. the south african athletics federation is conducting a battery of tests to prove or
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disprove caster semenya's assertion she is female. the athlete says she's been teased her entire life that she looks like a boy. it has sparked outrage throughout south africa. talk about the difficulty that this woman, person, i guess depending on how people are being cynical here are looking at this, what she must be dealing with. but as a sports writer, is this common? how often do you see this? >> first of all, she identifies as a woman. self-identifies. her family identifies her as a family and we should do the same. second of all, why is it -- this is the question i want viewers to think about. why is it any time historically a woman achieves and breaks boundaries the question is always, is she a man? is she part man? is she mannish? no one asked if michael phelps was part fish. no one asked if usain bolt was part rocketship.
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women become genetic oddities if they achieve in sport, particularly if they break boundaries. we have to remember at the heart of this is an 18-year-old girl who's being really subjected to a humiliating battery of tests all because her opponents have raised this specter of her sho being a man and if she is a man she is therefore has an illegal advantage in her sport. >> that question we'll have to leave rhetorical and this point and let people think about it. they're raising a question, dave, because she blew them away. left them in the dust. this isn't a sport where sometimes .001 of a second makes a difference. >> she's amazing but she's also 18 years old so she's new on the scene. people are trying to see for themselves what is different about her. thing about track and field, they have this entire twisted history of how they view gender. you're either a man or a woman. unfortunately, society and biology is more complicated than
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that. 1 out of roughly 1,666 people are classified as "intersex." as many as 1% of people have some sort of biological chromosome that does not put them at the exact definition of male or female. this isn't my opinion, this is a fact. arguing about it is like arguing about whether the sky is blue. >> dave, when you look at this woman, when you listen to her, she's got a very deep voice. that's one of the things that people were adding to the whole big picture of controversy. right? >> sure. but this is superficial when we get to these questions about what is a man and what is a woman. this is another thing women athletes always have had to deal with. you run this gauntlet with is exism on one side and homophobia. danica patrick is in maxim showing everyone how desirable she is and showing the guys in the frat house there is no question she is heterosexual. it would be nice if women would
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be athletes first and have to worry about the pitch of their voice second but that's just not the society we live in. >> all right, dave. thank you. a panda party in southwest china at a panda reserve. most pandas normally have only one baby at a time and mother aren't quite equipped to handle two cubs. one cub is being raised by the mother, the other being raised by handlers. are the same, consider this: a tornado hits, air life denver takes off... their night-vision goggles keeping the rescue mission safe... and powering those goggles-- the only battery air life trusts: duracell. trusted everywhere. but i've still got room for the internet. with my new netbook from at&t. with its built-in 3g network, it's fast and small, so it goes places other laptops can't. i'm bill kurtis, and wherever i go, i've got plenty of room for the internet.
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in heat in the health care debate as senator charles humaner and senator orrin hatch go head-to-head on "meet the press." >> the public option we've proposed is not one of these big government control things. the government sets it up. it has a different model. it doesn't have to make a product or merchandise as much so its costs are probably 20%
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lower. but then on a level playing field it competes with private insurance. >> i don't think people in this country believe that the federal government controlling everything is the best system of last resort. i think we should have more flexibility in the states to solve their own problems. >> watch "meet the press" in its entirety, re-airing today at 2:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc sunday. also new on "meet the press," senator schumer says democrats have bent over backwards trying to get bipartisan support for the president's health care plan but priority number one is to get the bill passed this year. if republicans aren't ready to go on-board, so be it. the democrats are planning alternatives. joined from washington with a republican strategist and a democratic strategist. good morning. brad, are you surprised to hear that the democrats might go it alone on health care? how would they actually accomplish this? >> look, they're hell-bent on getting any bill. any bill to them will be touted as a victory. the bottom line is, they had the
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votes all along. they had the best bill that they could possibly have. why is it then with high majorities in the house and senate with a republican president weren't they able to get a bill passed? what the president did was shirked his responsibility to the congress. there are five bills out there. there isn't a bill in the senate. it is their fault really because if they had the best plan it could have been law by now. >> julian, do you think what brad is saying is true, that the democrats are hell-bent on pushing something through, anything through, just to have some semblance of a victory, and in doing so perhaps do it without any republican support? where is the bipartisanship the president himself has adhered to? >> just in the way the republicans did during the economic recovery plan, they have played the role of obstructionist. the fact of the matter is even with a minority in the senate with 40 votes in the senate, you can play the role of obstructionist. republicans tried to obstruct the economic recovery program which is now working according
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to every economist. and wall street analysts. in the same way they did that they're trying to do that on the health care plan as well. democrats have consistently reached out to republicans on health care reform. we may be able to get some republican cooperation on things like regulating the health insurance industry and getting to universal coverage. i don't think republicans will cooperate on the public option. but at the end of the day, even while democrats have tripped initially in the initial phases, all of the polls show that republicans are not benefiting from this. republicans continue to say we were elected to congress, we're public officials but we're not going to try to play a constructive role in solving the country's problems here. >> brad, haven't republicans brought criticism on themselves saying no to the president's plan at every turn? and was it part of the republican strategy to create a repeat of bill clinton's health care defeat? >> with all due respect, it's the president who's having a repeat of '94, not the republicans.
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you guys control everything, julian. you've locked republicans out of the house conferences on the bill in committee. the senate democrats have been more welcoming to the republicans but they don't even have a bill to even discuss. so it's not that republicans with all due respect who are holding you up. it is the blue dog democrats and hatfield and mccoy feud you're having with the most liberal members of your party. it's not the republicans. we don't matter in this debate if you have the votes. because you have the votes if you were together to pass anything you wanted. >> julian? >> i think brad is making the point that i'm making, which is republicans are saying we're going to sit on our hands, we're not going to try to play a role -- >> we can't win with you guys because you won't let us play. >> brad is saying we're going to continue to try to defend the health insurance industry as much as we can. >> that's not what i'm saying. >> the fact of the matter is even with 40 votes the
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republicans can play an obstructionist role in the senate. no doubt about that. they tried do it on the economic recovery plan and they failed. here it is true, there are a few republicans that do want to play ball rather than politics. for the most part republicans have been looking to play politics. brad is right, democrats do have the ability to get something through and they will. we will get through health insurance reform -- we will get through regulation of the industry and i think we'll get universal coverage. i think it is another question whether or not we'll get the public option through. >> julian, stick that thing back in your ear. you have senator schumer telling david gregory it would be a lot better to get a bipartisan bill. so why the rush? why say even if we can't we're going to push this through? julian? >> i'm sorry, alex. give me that again real quick. >> i don't know if we have the time. in essence, why not push for bipartisanship? charles schumer said on "meet the press" we'd like to have it
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done that way. >> i think that we should push for bipartisanship. i think obama has been pushing for bipartisanship. i think senate democrats have been doing that and i think ultimately as you will see with the gang of six negotiations going on, at the end of the day you will see a bill that gets through congress, perhapsschume today, that does have some republican support. not the fact that republicans want to sit on their hands. >> julian, we want to be helpful. the problem is you guys don't have your act together to tell the american people. >> what are republicans for? >> the health care that the democrats provide today as a government, medicare, medicaid, is rife with mismanagement, fraud and abuse. >> the plan has been totally
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discredited. it does nothing for people that don't have insurance, does nothing about the abuses in the system, does nothing about portability. nothing about what everybody says we have to mix. my point is the same, republicans want to do nothing about the ongoing problems. >> i got to tell you something. >> every single economist is saying the obama economic recovery plan is working. >> all right, i got to wrap this thing up. that last exchange you guys had was worth going really heavy for because i think you encapsulated a lot of problems. you're getting a molded isb, julian epstein. i'm not having that thing popping out of your ear. for an inside look at political stories that are topping the headlines, logon to the dangerous wildfires continue to burn across greece today. latest pictures show one of the largest fires burning near athens. the flames have scorched scores
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of homes and thousands have been forced to evacuate. nbc's stephanie gosk is in london with more on this story. stephanie, what's the latest on the evacuations and flames? >> well, there is a town of 20,000 people that's been completely evacuated because of this fire. greek authorities have declared a state of emergency in the area around athens. the fire right now is about 14 miles from downtown athens. it's been burning basically out of control since friday. nearly 1,000 firefighters and greek soldiers have been battling the flames but their manpower an capabilities aren't good enough to battle it. the the greek government has had to actually ask for help from other european nations, france, italy and cypress are sending in more aircraft to help them out. right now there is heavy wind and heat in this area of greece. those winds are expected to continue until monday night. there is a good amount of time between now and monday night and there are some fears that they
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won't be able to get this fire under control. >> all right, stephanie gosk, thank you for that update from london. new this morning, the top u.s. military officer says the situation in afghanistan is deteriorating. on "meet the press" this morning, admiral mike mullen spoke about the recent presidential election and u.s. involvement in that country. >> this is the war we're in. in fact the mission the president has given us is to defeat and disrupt al qaeda and its extremist allies. there's focus on some degree of making sure security's okay, making sure governance moves in the right direction and developing an economy which will underpin their future. >> nbc's richard engel is in kabul with more for us this evening. richard, good evening your time. what is the sense there right now? how do the afghans feel about security in their country and the presence of u.s. troops seen there?
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>> reporter: it's a big question. but starting with how do they feel about security in this country, they feel very badly about security in this country. the situation has clearly deteriorated over the last several years, particularly in southern afghanistan, eastern afghanistan along the border with pakistan. over the last several months as more u.s. troops and more marines have been pushing down into the south, traditionally the the taliban stronghold, a lot of the militants have been leaving those areas and going into traditional safe havens in the north and west. so there is clearly a sense of insecurity on the ground. in terms of how did they react to american soldiers? and nato forces in general? there is a concern that after eight years of this war, not much has been accomplished. very little reconstruction has happened. afghans are wringing their hands, saying after all this time and so much fighting, not much security has been restored. it's in fact gotten more
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dangerous here. there is a great degree of frustration. >> how about all the threats and the violence ahead of the election? did that stop a lot of people from going to the polls? >> that certainly stopped a lot of people from going to the polls. but now the elections have a new problem in that abdellah abdella, the man who hopes to unseed the incumbent, president hamid karzai, today said he has proof -- didn't say exactly what it was -- of thousands of instances of irregularities that happened on voting day. he said in general it was voter intimidation. a lot of it in southern afghanistan and the commission set up to investigate that very issue says it has received 35 serious complaints that it is investigating, including underage voting, missing ballot boxes, and some intimidation. >> richard engel live in kabul, richard, thanks as always, so much. cash for clunkers winding
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down. coming up, a look at the program's winners and losers here on msnbc sunday. [ female] the deeper you clean, the cleaner you feel. olay deep cleansers go beyond what the eye can see. they remove 2 times more dirt and make-up than basic cleansing. for a deep clean feeling, deep cleansers from olay.
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what do you say to a spin around the color wheel? - to paint with primer already mixed in? - ♪ yeah yeah yeah... - test samples instead of can commitments? - ♪ whoo! - what do you say we dip into our wallets less... - ♪ are you feeling it? - ...and grab ahold of the latest tools out there... - ♪ oh! we can quit all that messing around with extra steps - and get busy turning our doing dials up a notch? - ♪ whoo! ♪ oh! more saving. more doing. - that's the power of the home depot. - ♪ yeah yeah yeah. when people say, hey mike, why ford, why now? i say brace yourself. that gas guzzler in your driveway, just might be, a clunker. but don't panic, it could be a good thing. yourord and lincoln mercury dealers
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are cash for clunkers specialists. they'll recycle your ride, and get you a big fat juicy rebate from uncle sam. you can get all the details, charts, graphs, etc, at why ford, why now? why not? visit your ford or lincoln mercury dealer. i'm thinking now would be a great time.
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it. there are a lot of people on the beach there in cape cod, massachusetts. but you see none of them are going into the water, for good reason. rip currents are very strong there. there is at least one person who's been killed down in florida as a result of rip currents sweeping that surfer away. lifeguards are on the beach, they've already told some adventurest surfers to stay out of the water. they said, nope, turn around, get out of the water. people are coming to look because it is spectacularly
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beautiful a waves pick up. we're keeping a close eye on things in cape cod an other things relative to hurricane bill. right now, auto nation, the country's largest auto dealership chain has stopped using the cash for clungers program. dealers are pulling out of the program early because they can't complete all their paperwork before it ends at 8:00 monday night. joining me, the ceo of jeremy, good morning. what do you make of these dealers pulling out early when you think about the potential of a last-minute rush to cash in on the program this weekend? >> i think you're right. there's definitely diagram fefi going to be a last-minute rush. not every dealer is participating but frankly, an awful lot of dealers just haven't gotten paid by the government for deals they've already submitted. clearly they're very concerned. >> half a million, 490,000 cars have been sold as a result of the cash for clunkers with only
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a little more than 24 hours left in this program, who do you see as the emerging winners and losers? >> well, the winners clearly i think the last numbers i saw showed that the toyota corolla was the largest selling new car under the program. as manufacturers go, hyundai's done very well, ford. not too many losers. the only manufacturers that obviously haven't done much would be the luxury manufacturers because they just didn't qualify. >> what about some of the problems with the program overall? congress had to double the amount of money putting another $2 billion into that. transportation department not allocating enough staff or resources to the program. all the bureaucracy. government rules to prevent fraud created a paperwork mess and the dealers had issues when the program was launched. what's your take on this? even with these issues, isn't something better than nothing as it relates to the auto industry, the beleaguered auto industry in the united states?
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>> as you point out, there was huge issues. another one was that the epa actually changed the mileage rating on a bunch of vehicles as the program was starting. it is clearly an example of how not to run a program. i think the big problem is going to actually be seen next week. we've seen an awful lot of sales concentrated in a four-week period. i worry about the last part of august and moving into september how bad sales are going to be. we won't know for a few weeks to get a sense of whether this program accomplished anything or not? >> what about a winner here? would gm be a winner, reporting it brought back about 10,000 workers because they were getting demand for their cars. is that a win-win for gm? >> it's certainly not bad news. but one of the untold stores here is that car sales were going up in the summer anyway. inventories were coming down. then you add this cash for clunkers program on top of that, and for most consumers -- because most people are not trading in clunkers. i think 20% of the deals in the last month involved a clunker, 80% did not.
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car prices have really skyrocketed. the bad news story for consumers is cars are more expensive this summer than they expect. >> correcting myself, 10,000 gm workers are seeing beggar paychecks, 13,000 coming back into the business. jeremy, we'll have more conversation with you next hour. got an appetite? contestants at a dumpling eating contest in los angeles sure must have. this year's winner joey chestnut who wolfed down 181 dumplings. last year he ate 240 of them. if the name sounds familiar, chestnut's also the champion of the july 4th nathan's hot dog eating contest. ranked first in the world by international federation of competitive eating.
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you also g 24/7 roadside assistance. ght on. yeah, vroom-vroom! sounds like you ran a 500. more like a 900 v-twin. excuse me. well, you're excused.
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hurricane bill is knock keeping the first family from
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their martha's vineyard vacation. the obamas depart in just a few hours. trading the fight over the public option for more than a week of peace on a private estate. or so they hope. joined here by pulitzer prize winning journalist karen hunter, she's also a publisher and teaches journalism and hunter college. good to have you here. talk about the timing of the president's vacation. he's in perhaps the biggest battle of his presidency to far. clearly the guy needs a break. >> jimmy carter only took 79 days in four years and look what happened to him. george bush holds the record for most vacations. it's time for a break. i think he needs to take this time to regroup and come back with a better message because the one that he was out there touting for the last couple of months has not been working. >> he needs to break -- the guy needs to get some rest. but do you think in terms of his stepping back that's also good for the public discourse, that just step back, everyone take a breather. >> you talk about the timing.
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health care is not going to be voted on until the fall anyway. everyone else is on vacation. nothing's going to happen that's going to change. whether the 47 million people -- 47 million people who don't have health care they're not going to get it in the next couple of months anyway. yeah, it is file for him to regroup and get back to his me, wherever that is, and come back with a better message. >> the message may be delivered in part through a direct live discussion with the american people or at least a delivery from the oval office, prime time speech. if that is done, how much do you think that message is going to get through to people? is there a concern that people start tuning out after a while? >> my eyes glaze over. i mean for most us, most of us have health care, i'm not going to say we don't care but we really don't care. it's a sad thing to say but americans are by and large selfish. so the 47 million that don't have it, if i'm neat one of them, i hear health care, i'm like as long as you don't touch mine, i'm happy. which is part of the problem. other side, the opposition, has been able to rally their folks
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with a strong five bullet point death panels for granny, hitler -- don't know how they got that one there. that's actually been effective. hitler's going, what? he's rolling around in his grave, how you going to compare that man to me? beside trying to get these 47 million people insured, they don't have the five points they can just bang out for the american people. i think barack obama, president obama, overestimated americans. he thought we were smarter than we are. he thought he could just put it out there and people would go, of course we need to overhaul this system! of course this is a travesty we don't have health care for everybody. make it simple. >> what do you think are long-term implications for the obama administration relative to health care? >> i think it issing it hurricane bill is coming his way. the last time we saw a president get it through that's what we saw and it didn't quite work. if he stays the course, meaning do what he's been doing, is going to be a disaster. it is all that we're focusing on. we have some more problems, way more dire problems in this country than this.
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i think that he has to take this time to kind of come back with just little simple points, keep is simple stupid is the first rule of journalism that we're taught. he needs to do that with this health care thing and just break it down for people. >> what more can he do? he's been out there, done the town halls. he takes questions from people, he tries to answer them directly or effectively. what more can he do? >> have a consistent play book. actually, he should look over at the other side's play book and just grab it and run with it. copy the way clarence thomas does it with scalia. copy all of the little notes. mirror exactly what they're doing. i listen to talk radio and it is effective because of the mantra, it is effective because they're very clear, they're consistent, they're concise. they know who their audience is, they know they're not that bright and keep is simple. they dumb it down to the point that it keeps us all really dumb but it's the america that we live in. you have to play within those guidelines. >> i'm betting your journalism students love you. bet you're great up there in front of them.
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you get the message across the way you want to. little humor as well, love that. still ahead, the swine flu vaccine, who's going to wind up getting it and who won't. the story in our next hour on msnbc sunday. ever worn your clothes in the shower? if you're using other moisturizing body washes, you might as well be. you see, their moisturizer sits on top of skin, almost as if you're wearing it. only new dove deep moisture has nutriummoisture, a breakthrough formula with natural moisturizers... that can nourish deep down. it's the most effective natural nourishment ever. new dove deep moisture with nutriummoisture. superior natural nourishment for your skin.
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